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Old 06-28-2007, 07:10 PM   #1
Patricia
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Walpole, Horace: The Castle of Otranto. v.1, 28 June 2007

Horace Walpole, 'The Castle of Otranto' (1764)

I have removed some scanning errors,and added a picture of the real castle of Otranto and a TOC.

This novella was the original gothic novel. Prince Manfred of Otranto is having trouble with apparitions and strange happenings in his castle. How will the mysterious prophecy about his family succession be fulfilled? Will any family members survive? Or will they be punished up to the third generation?

Horace Walpole was the fourth son of Robert Walpole, the first British Prime Minister. His fondness for things gothic is well-known and, single-handedly he popularised the style. Not only did he produce this gothic novel but he built a gothic mansion at Strawberry Hill, near Twickenham.

If you liked Dr Johnson's 'Rasselas' or Beckford's 'Vathek' then you will probably like this. I have to admit that while the prose is beautiful, Walpole is not so good at capturing a spooky atmosphere. Some of the apparitions are (for me) unintentionally funny.
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:16 PM   #2
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I remember reading something about this book. Maybe in this one: http://www.feedbooks.com/discover/view_book/234

It pretty much said that although it is quite interesting due to the fact that this is the original gothic book, the story itself is boring overall.
I loved Vathek and The Monk, maybe I should still give it a shot...

I'm overall impressed by the choice of your e-books btw Patricia !
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:38 PM   #3
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Another great effort and result. Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:51 AM   #4
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Horace Walpole, 'The Castle of Otranto' (1764)

I've wanted this book for a LONG time!

Thank you, Patricia.

Don
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:35 AM   #5
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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I can't believe I've found this book at last!

I've been looking for this as well as other period-specific gothic novels that employed conspicuously surreal imagery when such excesses were expected to be explained. This usually led to extra narrative zest.

Hence the fun of the giant helmet in this, the first and perhaps strangest novel in the genre.
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